Sacred Natural Sites are the world's oldest protected places. This book focuses on a wide spread of both iconic and lesser known examples such as sacred groves of the Western Ghats (India), Sagarmatha /Chomolongma (Mt Everest, Nepal, Tibet - and China), the Golden Mountains of Altai (Russia), Holy Island of Lindisfarne (UK) and the sacred lakes of the Niger Delta (Nigeria).
The book illustrates that sacred natural sites, although often under threat, exist within and outside formally recognised protected areas, heritage sites. Sacred natural sites may well be some of the last strongholds for building resilient networks of connected landscapes. They also form important nodes for maintaining a dynamic socio-cultural fabric in the face of global change. The diverse authors bridge the gap between approaches to the conservation of cultural and biological diversity by taking into account cultural and spiritual values together with the socio-economic interests of the custodian communities and other relevant stakeholders.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Sacred Natural Sites: the Foundations of Conservation
Part I: Towards the Science and Spirituality of Sacred Natural Sites
2. Conservation of Biodiversity in Sacred Natural Sites in Asia and Africa: a Review of the Scientific Literature.
3. Sacred Mountains and Global Change: Impacts and Responses
4. Falling Between the 'Cracks' of Conservation and Religion: The Role of Stewardship for Sacred Trees and Groves
5. The Enchanted Earth: Numinous Sacred Sites
6. A Review of Sacred Natural Sites and Arguments for Developing Biocultural Conservation Approaches
Part II: Sacred Natural Sites: Mutual Learning, Analysis, Planning and Management
7. Nature Saint and Holy Island, Ancient Values in a Modern Economy: The Enduring Influence of St. Cuthbert and Lindisfarne, United Kingdom
8. Tourism Meets the Sacred: Khumbu Sherpa Place-Based Spiritual Values in Sagarmatha (Mount Everest) National Park and Buffer Zone, Nepal.
9. The Road to the Future? The Bio-cultural Values of the Holy Hill Forests of Yunnan Province, China
10. Uncovering the Intangible Values of Earth Care: Using Cognition to Reveal the Eco-spiritual Domains and Sacred Values of the Peoples of Eastern Kham
11. Ancestral Beliefs and Conservation: The Case of Sacred Areas in Bandjoun, West Cameroon
12. The Crocodile is our Brother: Conservation Management of the Sacred Lakes of the Niger Delta, Nigeria
Part III: Sacred Natural Sites: International Recognition, Global Governance and Field Action
15. Sacred Natural Sites, Cultural Landscapes and UNESCO's Action
16. Synergies and Challenges for Legal Protection of Sacred Natural Sites in the South Pacific
17. The Cultural and Spiritual Values of Wetlands and their Sacred Natural Sites in the Ramsar Convention
18. Sacred Natural Sites, Biodiversity and Well-being: the Role of Sacred Sites in Endogenous Development in the Compas Network
19. Delos Initiative, Experience with Sacred Natural Sites in Technologically Developed Countries
20. Developing and Testing a Methodology and Tools for the Inventory of Sacred Natural Sites of Indigenous and Traditional Peoples in Mexico
21. Culture-based Conservation and Recovery of Sacred Groves: Experiences from the North Western Ghats, Maharastra, India
Part IV: In our Own Hands: Living Culture and Equity at Sacred Natural Sites
22. Community-Based Ecotourism at Tafi Atome Sacred Monkey Sanctuary in Ghana
23. Sacred Valley, Conservation Management and Indigenous Survival: Uch Enmek Indigenous Nature Park, Altai Republic, Russia
24. Towards a Sustainable Management and Enhanced Protection of Sacred Marine Areas at Palawan's Coron Island Ancestral Domain, Philippines
25. Culture, Conservation and Co-management: Mapping Soliga Stake in Biodiversity Conservation in Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary, India
26. Devi as Ecofeminist Warrior: Reclaiming the Role of Sacred Natural Sites in East-Central India
27. Conclusion: Using Sacred Natural Sites to Conserve Nature and Culture
"This excellent book is a welcome addition to the academic and professional literature in the relationship between people and nature. The book is a must for all managers of heritage places where sacred natural sites occur, academics, heritage professionals, and students, not just of sacred natural sites but for those also from the culture side. It also ought to be brought to the attention of those preparing World Heritage nominations and to government agencies where the less famous examples exist outside formally protected areas and heritage sites." – Ken Taylor, IJHS Australia.
"It is an interesting book to have on your shelf, providing an excellent reference text for students, academics, and other individuals interested in natural sacred places. I would hope that it might also appear on the desks of legislators—or that it might at least be summarized by their staff in their briefs, to highlight the importance and vulnerability of these amazing places." - Kathy Velander, Mountain Research and Development
"In introducing the reader to the diverse world of sacred natural sites and exploring their potential for conservation planning and management, this is a publication that should be on the bookshelf of any scholar working on conservation related issues, irrespective of their disciplinary grounding." - James P. Robson, Human Ecology
"The book is a must for all managers of heritage places where sacred natural sites occur, academics, heritage professionals, and students, not just of sacred natural sites but for those also from the culture side. It also ought to be brought to the attention of those preparing World Heritage nominations and to government agencies where the less famous examples exist outside formally protected areas and heritage sites." - Emeritus Professor Ken Taylor, National Environmental Law Review